Nurse aides fired

Commissioners elect to terminate women after multiple missteps
Andy Ouriel
Mar 26, 2014
Erie County commissioners fired two longtime public nursing home employees for allegedly mistreating residents.

Gone are The Meadows at Osborn Park aides Sandy Dwight and Barb Richardson, who both demonstrated repeated patterns of disrespect and misconduct toward senior citizens, according to documents in their personnel files.

“The needs of our residents are our No. 1 priority,” Erie County commissioner Pat Shenigo said. “Sometimes management has to make difficult decisions that involve differences of opinion, and that is what happened here”

Dwight’s demise came a few weeks ago, after she left a high-risk resident alone on a toilet. She also left the resident attached to a sit-to-stand lift, effectively restraining this unidentified person.

Dwight had at least eight missteps since January 2013, including instances in which she disrespected residents, according to her personnel file. She began working at the nursing home in 1976, most recently earning $12.99 an hour.

For her part, Richardson received a pink slip in mid-March, after she reportedly threatened three residents in the Alzheimer’s unit.

Her personnel file indicates there were at least seven instances of misconduct since January 2013, including disrespecting residents. She began working at the nursing home in 1999, most recently earning $13.14 an hour.

Comments

Dilligaff

Was it really necessary to put their names in the paper??

Peninsula Pundit

YES!
If you had a parent in a nursing home, wouldn't YOU want to know if these folks were on the staff?
If not, I will leave the reader to his own thoughts as to why that would be.
Perhaps you feel you were mistreated by them and they will now get their comeuppance.
I cannot fathom your comment.

DGMutley

DOUBLE YES!

JACKEL

You bet !

holysee

TO serve and protect.
Nurses aides should make as much as cops, with similar standards of performance expected. Those aides should certainly be fired for job performance but nurses aides in general should be able to make a living wage.
Like so many jobs, it's very hard work that is underappreciated and underpaid.

Peninsula Pundit

Very Strongly Agree!

deertracker

ME too!

Dilligaff

It's the most unappreciated and underpaid job I've ever seen. They absolutely should be upheld to standards of performance. That being said, you never see anyone else getting their name published for being fired.

Whoopball

Because it is a county facility, they are public employees and the paper has access to the information. Private businesses don't turn their HR decisions over to the paper. I do think the days of county governments running nursing homes is over and this facility should be sold.

holysee

Nurses aides can not afford lawyers to negotiate confidentiality agreements like jailers in sandco can.

YouMustBeJoking

You do if they work for the city or the county. If they worked at Parkvue nursing home, then this would not even be in the newspaper, but since they are government employees, it's made public.

2cents

I know there is more than one Barb Richardson in the area, I hope the SR will clarify this before the county gets slapped with a lawsuit for slander...

Just saying!

RNR

"who both demonstrated repeated patterns of disrespect and misconduct toward senior citizens"
Yes, absolutely their names should be published. Many nurses and nurse aides work private duty and get their jobs by word of mouth, shouldn’t people know about their past work history. Also, If they were fired for abuse they should also be reported to the State of Ohio. These people take care of your Grandma, Grandpa, Mothers, Fathers, friends and other loved ones.

However, in defense to them and as a healthcare worker myself.... I believe that the Sandusky Register should follow up on stories like this. Everything may not be what it seems. Please SR look into the field you are reporting about, because there are many variables in the Healthcare field. Many times the workers are misrepresented by the employers because of family complaints and they need a scapegoat. Many facilities are understaffed and there is simply not enough time to take care of everyone EXACTLY by the book. I.E.: leaving someone on a toilet with a stand up lift. Were they able to use the call bell in the bathroom? Did the employee leave them to have a BM, while attending to another resident that had to use the restroom? They probably felt that the employee was safe with the lift in front of them (prevent falling forward onto the floor) and instead of sitting in the residents room waiting for them to finish, decided to quickly help another resident. Also, how many times has this instance happened previously and the facility said nothing..... now all the sudden its wrong and your fired. I am not condoning this behavior at all, but SANDUSKY REGISTER, Please think about these things prior to ruining someone’s career. (oh and if the company reports that they are NOT understaffed, they may not be per the State of Ohio, but the State of Ohio is okay with 1:15 aide/patient ratio in Nursing Homes) Think about that.

Unassumer

You can't be sued for slander (spoken) and actually you mean libel (written) because you publish a common name. If there are other Barb Richardsons that don't work at this nursing home, it would not affect them in a negative manner, since it's not them. They might be offended that someone could think it's them, but it would probably not stand up in court.

2cents

"a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name."

You can take it two ways, I am sure a reporter was told this, I would not know exactly but you get the point. Maybe they could have photos so people know who these they are. They have photos of most of the people being arrested!

Dilligaff

Exactly, RNR...what if the resident was being left along to have a BM in private? I'm not defending actions of these two but there's definitely more to the story. Would you like to have a bowel movement with someone staring at you?

Peninsula Pundit

'What if...'
As opposed to 'demonstrated repeated patterns of disrespect and misconduct toward senior citizens.'
Regardless of anyone's personal bathroom preferences, 'repeated patterns..' trumps the issue you raise.
That is sort of self-evident, wouldn't you agree?
There is, indeed, more to the story.
'demonstrated repeated patterns of disrespect and misconduct toward senior citizens...' covers it all.

RNR

well like I said, I'm not condoning any actions these two may have done. However, Dwight worked there almost 40 years and in the past year she has had 8 episodes of misconduct? That seems very odd to me. If she was that bad why did they let her stay there 30 odd years??? Just wondering if there is more to this story is all. Have a nice day!

Weather.78

Hey this would be a good way for the union to get their employees more raises. I mean after 38 years and only making 12.99. Really.

8ballinthesidepocket

Reading these comments is like having a BM with the whole world looking at you.

Julie R.

The elderly in Erie County are being mistreated all the way around, not only by low-lifes like these 2 aides, but also by snake attorneys and crook financial institutions who are even assisted in their crimes against the elderly by county public officials ---- but the Erie County commissioners, of course, don't want anybody to know about that.

pntbutterandjelly

re; Julie R., PennisulaPundit and others who know and or care about those admitted to nursing homes,

After much deliberation with myself, I have elected to NOT use the local care facility's name OR the name of the particular aide's actual name in the following disclosure. This decision is NOT based upon a fear of being sued for presenting the facts publically but because of and in consideration to my spouse and his/her wishes only. We still retain piles of documentation and signed testimony backing the validity of this true but sad example I am about to unfold.

My spouse's father was in a semi-cognitive mental condition at the time of this incident and also suffered from acute and chronic muscularity atrophy state (he thought he could walk but couldn't in any sense of reality). More importantly know that there were WRITTEN orders from his doctor(and "supposedly" on file for all to read and have access to)for his care, handling and safety due to his physical and mental condition(s).
Understand too that we were at the facility on a daily basis to help with his care in both a physical and emotional sense. We,on own accord, also created activities for him and other residents to participate in inclusive of but not limited to birthday parties, Super Bowl parties and such. We got to very-well know several of his best resident friends, other residents and some of the staff including aides as well as administration personnel. Our prescience was looked forward to by everyone who had the opportunity to know my spouse and myself an appreciate our altruistic efforts. We were doing our best for him and others during this trying but necessary time.

One April night in 2007 around 12:30 am we got a call from the care facility. Our beloved had "somehow" gotten out of his bed and had fallen. {Note: The PRIMARY FOCUS of the standing orders stated "his bed was to be UNPLUGGED at all times" when he was in it". This was written because of our and the doctor's fear that at some moment while he was in a state of dementia he may think he could walk and...have a fall.} Our worst nightmares were only beginning.

When he fell he broke his leg in two places which required a trip to the hospital for admission. The shock of the pain caused by the "accident", the subsequent transportation to the hospital and all the ensuing chaos only deepened his mental/emotional state into some blacker abyss which few have experienced and my spouse and can never fully comprehend. Two days later...he passed due to a host of complications caused by this extremely unfortunate and avoidable set of circumstances through no fault of his or our doings. We were to soon learn his time had came prematurely due to negligence. The negligence of the facility and one particular aid. How, you may ask, do we know this? Please read on.

Soon after entering his former room at the care facility in order to retrieve his remaining personal affects we were approached by an aide that we knew who had, in part, been in charge of our now deceased. She said (and I QUOTE), "I need to speak with you." We politely consented and then she opened up to us. "It was my fault. I knew his bed was to be unplugged but...I got busy with other residents and...I forgot." Her admission of personal fault was a shocking revelation and at first glance a shockingly noble thing to do. In part we were grateful for her disclosure (but we would have eventually learned who was on duty prior to his fall and how he had mysteriously had been able to egress his bed). In essence...we later figured she knew we would soon discover the facts of her faulty involvement and was attempting to diminish the possible impacts by coming forward to seek our forgiveness.

We didn't file these facts with an attorney or any state board of nursing home oversight or approach the care facility's top administrator due to numerous reasons and factors. The later being due to a prior verbal meeting with that same administrator where as we voiced some concerns in a closed-door session with only the three of being present. There we voiced observational concerns about the direct care and lack thereof we had witnessed AND of the aforementioned records NOT being made available to us when we had inquired to review them. (Later...we also discovered many of our beloved's records had been es ponged completely.) The administrator's ultimate bottom line statement was, (here again I quote), "If you don't like the care we give...you can have him transferred to another facility." We were appalled. Rather than address our concerns with some form of committed for further review or insight or better yet make an attempt to rectify them...he merely brushed them aside! Mind numbing at best and heartless at least.

With this honest and first hand synopsis of our history of nursing home care...I will now voice my opinion.

a) Aide's pay needs to be considerably higher. That higher pay "should" attract a more knowledgeable and better trained employees as a our loved one's first line of care and defense. It should also ensure a lower turnover rate as an additional bonus.
b) The state's ratio of 1:15 needs to be lowered dramatically.
c) EVERY nursing home should have more, a LOT more, oversight in order to protect the residents in their charge.
d) There needs to an easy, direct and affective method by which residents and/or their family members can voice their concerns to those whom have the authority to investigate said infractions.
e) Records of infractions for all nursing homes and the establishment of a "rating system" and profits per patient need to be displayed yearly for public review.
f) Applicable and severe penalties (imprisonment and monetary) for all held accountable for said infrations.

To do less and to be merely brushed aside is NOT acceptable.

Our personal and very dire experience(s) we were thrust into have left an totally unsavory and extremely scary taste in our mouths.

Is this the best we currently have to offer those who are in their final days? Is this acceptable behavior for our loved ones to contend with? Is this what you will want in YOUR time of need? Is this what our country has come to?

God bless you George. We did our best for you and we will soon be with you again on...the other side.

PB&J

Peninsula Pundit

I am sorry for your loss and can personally identify with your experience.
My mom spent a couple years in nursing homes.
A relative of mine has a couple decades as a STNA.
We both agree with your closing points most wholeheartedly.
You might be surprised to learn that the ratio for 'Assisted Living' is even higher.
And some of those people should be in a 'skilled care' facility.
But the families don't want to say anything because the alternative of a 'nursing home' is an admission that their loved one's condition is degrading to a point that the care they need is more than just an occasional hand to go about their daily lives. That can be a hard pill to swallow, not to mention the loved ones reaction to being moved.
All these issues present a dilemma that has many facets and most of them involve deep feelings and emotions for all involved. And many times, also regrets and second-guessing after the loved one has passed away that may last a lifetime.

SoOverIt

Wow after all these years! Barb was caught yelling at my grandmother years ago and yes it was reported but nothing done! Now they want to fire her!!! I can bet there are numerous people that she did this type of stuff to! SAD! WHEN YOU CHOOSE TO BE AN AIDE YOU TAKE SOME WHAT OF AN OATH TO CARE FOR YOU RESIDENTS! THIS NEEDS TO BE UPHELD. If this type of work isn't over move over and let others who are compassionate and caring do the job.

xxdabriggsxx

I will say I used to work in this facility for 6 years, and knew both of these women.... I will not go on to talk badly of either, however to use the excuse of leaving a resident left on a sit to stand as a reason for firing is ridiculous!!!! I worked on a floor by myself with no help and would have to literally run from room to room just to make sure a resident trying to get up off an alarm did not fall. I was told that if one of my residents fell it would be on me because I did not find adequate coverage before attempting to stop my first "jumper". That place is a joke, and leaving there was the best decision I ever made! Also how sad is it that Sandy, worked in that place since 1976 and only made 12.99/hour. They work their aides to the bone when I left I was being mandated back to back, people are now being mandated 12 times a month.... Come on with it!

shesaidwhat

If I hear anyone complain about ECCF pay one more time I'm going to snap THEY MAKE MORE THAN MOST!

xxdabriggsxx

You are correct in you observation that they make more than most..... However, when debating leaving there that is the exact reason, I left the field all together. You are not paid what you are worth. If you make the choice to destroy your body by doing this physically demanding job for $8.50 an hour you are an idiot.... I understand that in the town there is little to choose from and when Job and Family services is paying for your classes you have to do what you have to do.

Peninsula Pundit

To avoid being banned for 'personal attacks,':
I hope you do snap, and soon. Repeatedly.
Then your loved ones will put you in the facility and you can learn first hand what it is.
Perhaps when you snap, your speech will be affected and you won't be able to tell others what's happening to you.
Allow me to help you there:
The pay for the people who do this work should be top-tier and they should be held to the strictest accountability in the discharge of their duties.
You can find out how it is first hand. Volunteers are welcome at any of these facilities.

shesaidwhat

Well...seeing I'm a STNA and I do actually work PRN at ECCF, part time with a home health agency that actually goes into many facilities in the area I DO SEE IT, I also Volunteer at the Commons and prov care in activities and also with stein hospice....I know the work isnt easy and the pay could be better but it's not and we all know that going into this line or work...If you cant handle it get out so someone that can give that pt the care they deserve can because I know everyday I walk into someones room I smile and treat them as if they were my grandparent no matter how many others I get to work with, who I'm caring for, how many hr I'm going to be there but I love love love my job and love helping the elderly and those in need. Idk I just think we should be thankful that we have a job.

Peninsula Pundit

Well, if you do that work and don't mind your poor wages for the amount of responsibility you bear, you certainly are unmercenary and may God open the gates wide when you snap and enter His Kingdom.
Also, to help you in the meantime, the Veterans home pays GREAT wages and youwill get the double bonus of not only helping the elderly, but elderly veterans.
Win-Win!

Pages